Monday, December 15, 2014

A Tale of Two Cities: Part Two, Madrid

Merry Three-Months-in-Spain everyone! That's right you've been with me through it all so we're celebrating this landmark day in my exchange, lot's of flashbacks to come. Woo hoo break out the balloons, cake and Christmas trees? Holy holly it's Christmas time guys!

Pamplona knows how to do its Christmas trees. With wine bottles.! Many people know about my obsession with the holidays, and some are fairly annoyed by it (but we'll leave those Grinches out of our festive holiday happyfest). I was expecting the day I heard cheerful carols or saw the lights turning our city into a Christmas card, I'd be doubled-over in sadness. Surprisingly, or not surprisingly (I've kind of stopped being surprised by my strange reactions) I haven't been the least bit sad. Maybe that's because I haven't had the least bit of time for it.

Always wanted to a princess for a day, wouldn't mind living in the palace either.

With a day of rest after Barcelona (well a day of unpacking and repacking) I was soon venturing off  again, this time to the heart of Spain, Madrid. Did I have hopes for this adventure. I was thinking how quickly these 3 months (nearly a 3rd of my exchange) flew by. I wanted to make the most these days, soak in every view.

Too bad missed out on 4 hours of it as my post Barcelona sleepiness hit me on our drive in. I woke up the way I woke up on my first day in Pamplona, opening my eyes as the windows opened to a whole new world sights, tastes and the sounds of adventure. But first I'd have to freeze my way through it.

The sun made it look like summer but really I couldn't feel my toes.
What most people don't realize is that Spain isn't all warm ancient cities and nude beaches. It gets cold, like really cold. After 2 years of living in Mr.Heatmiser's domain I've unknowingly become a wimp to the cold.

That is unknowingly until now. If I'd ever looked more out of place it would have been frigidly tiptoeing through the city streets of Madrid, luckily there were a hundreds of people helping blend me in.

"Visit Bernabe├║" Check off the Bucketlist
Seriously I could not believe the amount of people bracing the frigid night. Another flashback to my first Juevincho in Pamplona, sooo many Spaniards crowding the streets and I the little foreigner finding her way through it all.

Now 3 months later I feel closer to being a Spaniard and closer to being me as well, if that makes any sense. I've stopped with the worry, stopped with the who how what do I look like to everyone else. At this point in time, on the streets of Madrid, I've literally stopped and started starring.

Smiling, I looked up at the grand building of lights, el Palacio de Communicaciones. The frozen winds blew threw my layers and I was iced into that spot. It was adorned in Christmas and Spanish. I hugged myself from the cold but also from the joy of feeling my pieces come together as I watched the lights and flags wishing me a Merry Christmas and Happy Exchange Year.
Don't really know what happened with the green there but it turned out kind of cool!

I was only frozen for a moment before we were off again marching through the winds, people and
lights of the city. Heat lamps popped up between montaditos (little restaurant/Tapa bars) with doors open to the cold night breathing people into their warmth. Even with a red nose and frozen fingers I felt warmer. The air wasn't just carrying chilliness but the sounds of Spain and a holiday spirit that followed me all the way across the ocean.

It all begins here, The Literal heart of Spain <3

Across the ocean where a Christmas tree was being "populated", cookies being iced and red pjamma's put out for the coming eve. I knew Our Christmas so well, it was only just now becoming clear how different this one would be.

Once again I felt the way I did looking down on that first view of Spain, that first landing, that first day in this new home, an unexplainable tickle in my tummy. Nerves? excitement? Or could it just be the love of adventure, that I think will continue to captivate me for the rest of my life.

First sunrise in Spain, Happy 3 months to my beautiful home <3


  1. Loving your love of life and new experiences. Love you. Look for a package.

  2. Stay warm and enjoy, Merry Christmas.